Six Tips to Reduce Stress in Job Hunting Families
A friend of mine talked to me a couple of years ago about looking for work, and actually being afraid to come home each night for dinner to await what he thought was the unspoken but inevitable question from his family – “Did you find a job today?
It can be tough to come home nights, if you’ve been out of work for a while, and have that unspoken question hanging in the air:
DID YOU FIND A JOB TODAY?
So here are a few ideas which can help lessen the strain for everybody.
#1. Assess Your Financial Requirements
This is one of the first things you might want to attack at the start of your search. Scary I know, but you will have to do it sometime, so better to do it now.
Even in good times, money issues are the root of much tension in families. In bad times this is magnified. Figure out, early on, how much you have and how long it will last. If you have three months until the money runs out what are some other options to consider?
You may want to discuss your financial situation with your next of kin who might be able to offer some assistance. Better to know now than later if they can or can’t help.
Or, you might want to look for a part-time job immediately to tide you over and bring in some money, allowing you to extend your “real” job search.
#2. Plan Regular Progress Meetings
This one sounds awfully corporate, but it’s really a good idea. Agree on a time to meet every week, for a ½ hour or hour, when you’ll discuss what you’ve been doing to find a job and your progress so far. At that meeting your partner or spouse or parents, as the case may be, may ask any questions they want. The deal is, after the meeting there should be no discussion or comments from them. This way you can stay more focused during the week.
#3. Share Your General Job Hunting Strategies With Your Partner or Family
This is great for a couple of reasons. First, you help put your family’s minds at rest because you’re explaining your search strategy. Second, you give your partner or parents the chance to suggest any ideas they might have for you.
Your posture should be such that you do not have to defend your actions, only listen and cull what works for you. Also, try to keep emotions and arguments to a minimum. Your significant others have probably been down this path before and may have some good info for you. This is the time to listen and be open to suggestions.
#4. Try to Avoid the Language of Confrontation
This is a tough one because at this juncture, a number of triggering words could set you off. The key point is that when discussing money with your partner or parents, ask them to try to talk about “our” situation not “your” situation. “We” have a financial problem is different than saying “You” haven’t found anything and we’re running out of money. You’ll have enough on your plate without feeling any more like a failure. Just ask them to please be aware of not turning the meeting into a weekly blame game.
#5. Accentuate the Positive
Have you ever been to a job hunting support group? They invariably start off with talking about what went well that week, like say, “I met six new contacts,” or, “I sent out 50 resumes.” Everything you do in a search is a positive step in the right direction. So when you have your weekly meetings with your partner, or parents, talk about the steps you’re taking. Success is taking the right path towards victory, not just crossing the goal line.
#6. Find a Support Function Outside of the Family
Go have a drink (not too many) or dinner with a good friend periodically. Allow yourself to vent or discuss your situation from someone not so tied to you emotionally. I have a friend who I would talk with whenever I was looking and he would do the same when he was job hunting. We were friends but not so close as to have any emotional baggage; very different from family members.
These tips helped my friend and, frankly, helped me in my searches. If you have any to add, it would be appreciated.Visit Website